Dustin Horne and Riley Payne were both in the truck pictured when Dustin tried to block the allegedly 'crazed driver' in Gympie.
Dustin Horne and Riley Payne were both in the truck pictured when Dustin tried to block the allegedly 'crazed driver' in Gympie. Troy Jegers

Truckie knew driver 'needed to be stopped'

EVEN if he had have known that the alleged crazed driver was armed, the man being hailed a hero, reckons he still would have tried to stop him.

Gympie truck driver Dustin Horne was driving down the Bruce Highway near Nick's Readymix at Monkland with his mate's young son Riley Payne to transport some cement blocks home to make a retaining wall on Wednesday morning. 

It was just after 9am that the pair heard police were on a high-speed chase looking for a dangerous driver near their location. 

Riley only being nine-years-old, was curious and a bit excited about what was going on and asked Dustin what all of the calls and phrases on the UHF meant.

The pair chatted away about it for a bit and then Dustin saw it - the car in his rear-view mirror, about 400 metres behind, swerving all around the traffic on the busy highway.

Dustin, a truck driver with nearly 20 years experience, said he made the decision to move his truck a little into the driver's path to stop him and help the police.

"I was just hoping to stop him, I work with the police a lot (in my line of work with oversized transport)," he said.

"Next minute he's smashed right into the trailer. He rammed into me then selected reverse and took off again.
"I honestly didn't think he'd keep going, I thought he'd stop. He was definitely on a mission."

The aftermath of a high speed chase on the Bruce Highway.
The aftermath of a high speed chase on the Bruce Highway. Troy Jegers

Dustin, who drives oversized trucks for Masondale Heavy Haulage, said the driver was "not mucking around" and "he did not care what was coming".

The police were behind the driver and Dustin moved his truck out of the way, so they could continue their chase.

Dustin said he didn't think about the danger at the time - he didn't really know much except that the driver was wanted by police. He didn't know that he was armed.

But even if he did, he said he still would have taken the same action.

"I still would have done the same thing. I believe the sooner that police could stop him the better. The amount of people he would have put in danger was just ridiculous."

Dustin said his young passenger wasn't scared by the encounter, but he was a bit "blown away" and was listening to it on the radio.

Dustin said while he hadn't been in that kind of predicament before, he had driven by other incidents on the highway but was never able to do anything to help.

He said he believed truckies got a bad rap but highlighting stories like his was one way to slowly change the public's perception about drivers.

"Truckies get a bad rap just because of the few that do the wrong thing," he said.

He said in the early days, when he used to be able to bring passengers in his truck, they were able to see and experience just exactly what it was like to be inside a truck.

"It opens your eyes to what you go through, it's not just steering like a car."

The driver, Dylan Matthew Hammond, remains in a critical condition and is under police guard in hospital after he was eventually shot and hit by a car in a terrifying and bloody end to the 200k chase just north of Nambour.

He allegedly held up the Hervey Bay Hotel earlier.

The Criminal Investigations Branch and Forensic Crash Unit are continuing investigations into the incidents.

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